What to do if my hours have been unreasonably increased?

UPDATED: Dec 22, 2011

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What to do if my hours have been unreasonably increased?

I’m an hourly employee and when I was hired 3 years ago my work hours were 8 to 5, Monday, Thursday and Friday. Then 3 months ago all of us were put on a 60 hour week, 12 hour days, 5 days a week. Is this legal and what recourse do I have beside quitting? I have 2 small children and only see them a hour or so a day. This work schedule puts a big burden on my husband who has a full-time job as well. I do get OT for my extra hours but this schedule is wearing me out.

Asked on December 22, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Basically, you probably have no recourse other than to quit if you can't work out a more acceptable arrangement with your employer. That is unless such scheduling violates existing company policy, an employment contract or union agreement. You would also have legal rights if your work schedule in some way constitutes a form of actionable discrimination. The reason is that most employment relationships at "at will". This means that an employer has a great deal of discretion in setting the terms and conditions of the workplace; this includes how many hours to schedule employees.

Note: If you are a non-exempt (typically hourly) employee you are entitled to overtime for any week in which you work over 40 hours.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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